Firefighter William Pierce, 54, of the Ogdensburg, New Jersey Fire Department died Thursday afternoon after complaining of feeling ill while working the scene of a fully involved mobile home fire in Ogdensburg, according to Fire Chief Mark Batty.
"He was operating a hand line with another firefighter and reported feeling ill, so we called in for a first aid squad," Batty said. "We suspect he had a coronary condition, but there was no prior history of heart problems with him whatsoever."
Pierce was taken to a local hospital and later died.
"He was a real down to earth guy, he loved the fire service and was a big hydraulics enthusiast," Batty said. "He loved his family, never drank, never smoked, he was the type of person I think everyone should try and be."
A native of Hardyston, Pierce was a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years, actively serving with both the Ogdensburg and Hardyston fire departments. He served as Fire Chief for both departments, and had just recently stepped down from the leadership position with the Ogdensburg department. He was also an instructor at the Sussex County Fire Academy.
The funeral will take place Tuesday, February 15 at F. John Ramsey Funeral Home, One Main Street, Franklin, NJ 07416 at 11 a.m.
Internment will take place at North Hardyston Cemetery on Rt. 94, Hardyston, NJ. Fellow fireman from local county fire departments all over the state and from New York City will pay their respects. The funeral procession is expected to be close to 100 fire engines. Pierce will be on an Ogdensburg truck with the funeral flowers behind on a Hardyston Township truck.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, his mother, five stepchildren, and 12 grandchildren.